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Ivy Tech to go after student debtors' tax refunds

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Students who owe Ivy Tech Community College money will have their tax refunds diverted to cover the debt under a new policy the statewide college system is implementing.

Ivy Tech is asking the Indiana Department of Revenue to divert the refunds through a tax-intercept program that's commonly used to collect unpaid child support.

The move is the latest effort by the college system to collect on money it's owed. Ivy Tech loses out on about $12 million each year because of student-owed debt, which amounts to about 1.5 percent of the college's general fund, Chief Financial Officer Chris Ruhl told The Herald-Bulletin of Anderson. Collection agencies are only able to recover about $1 million a year.

The tax-intercept program, which also is used by Purdue University, has been available for years, but this is the first time Ivy Tech has implemented it, Ruhl said.

Ruhl said most of the money owed is not related to overdue tuition but is instead tied to federal financial aid programs such as Title IV and Pell Grants.

Students who receive such aid and drop a class before attending 60 percent of the 15-week period owe the federal government money. But they actually owe the school money, because Ivy Tech has to pay it back.

Debtors will be notified of the policy and have 30 days to appeal.

From the college's standpoint, the loss of money adds up quickly and can impact its ability to expand its offerings.

"Every dollar paid here is put back into academic services," Ruhl said.

Ivy Tech already bars students from registering for classes if they owe money. Students who owe even a parking ticket or library fine aren't allowed to graduate until they settle their debt.

Ivy Tech also plans to limit the amount of federal money it forwards to students by monitoring bookstore credits so that it pays out what is actually needed.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

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  5. deport now

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